“Now our Arab students read Arabic books”: Arabic Curriculum Innovation through Children’s Literature


  • Mariam Alhashmi Associate Professor - College of Education, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Kay Gallagher Professor - Counseling Special Education and Neuroscience Division, Emirates College of Advanced Education, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Raja Asad Principal of the Primary and Kindergarten School - Emirates National School, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Rama Baroud Part-Time Research Assistant, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Curriculum Innovation, Literature-Integrated Curriculum, Language Teaching and Learning, Arabic


The quality of Arabic language teaching and learning can be improved through the implementation of engaging programs and innovative approaches. In an effort to revitalize a stodgy curriculum, a number of schools have piloted a literature-integrated approach to the teaching of Arabic language and have anecdotally reported successes in student attainment. However, the practices associated with these initiatives and their impact on the teaching and learning of Arabic have not been studied. This study explores the implementation and the impact of literature integration in Arabic classes using a multiple-case research design that included three pioneering schools in Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The results demonstrate that the implementation of a literature-integrated approach entails a comprehensive change that influences and is impacted by teachers, the curriculum, the learning environment, and the school leadership. Challenges around time requirements, resources, and cross-school collaboration point to needs that cannot be solved by teachers but need to be addressed by policy makers. Successes affirm the findings of prior studies on the positive impact of literature integration. In conclusion, this approach may carry promising results for Arab children if the change is supported, the challenges are addressed, and the successes are amplified.


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How to Cite

Alhashmi, M., Gallagher, K., Asad, R., & Baroud, R. (2023). “Now our Arab students read Arabic books”: Arabic Curriculum Innovation through Children’s Literature. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 8(1), 52–87. Retrieved from https://arjals.com/ajal/article/view/377